Room At The Top | Part 1 :: Check Out That Roof!

Loft for conversion courtesy of
To be able to make good use of your loft, you need to have a reasonable amount of available floor space and headroom. This is determined by the type of roof structure you have. If your house was built after 1965, it is quite likely that the roof was built using "trussed rafters", creating a network of timbers criss-crossing the loft. The bad news is that you can't easily alter this type of roof and a loft conversion might be out of the question without replacing or supporting the roof structure. Sorry!   If your roof is of more traditional "rafter and purlin" construction, where a large beam (or "purlin") runs horizontally along the roof about half way up to support the roof rafters, this is a better option for conversion. A steeper roof pitch will be another benefit, allowing more headroom. For comfortable use, you really need a minimum height of 2.3m (7'6") available over half the floor area for a bedroom, playroom or study. If you are short of headroom, creating a dormer wi...
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Room At The Top :: Our Guide

Roof conversion inspiration from Velux
Have you noticed how we're being bombarded at the moment with TV programmes, glossy magazines and social media messages all showing us how to "improve" our homes with designer flair or handyman skills? Whether you are being inspired or irritated by all this media DIY encouragement, there is little doubt that careful, attractive and useful home improvements can add value to your home.  But, if what you need is not more colour but more space - for an extra bedroom, study or home office, for example - then perhaps the answer would be a loft conversion.
Do you need information about converting your loft? Just read on...
Using the loft for more living space can give you imaginative, light and airy rooms and is usually more cost-effective than building an extension - and, of course, you don't have to sacrifice any of your garden!   The size and shape of lofts vary considerably but, even if you only have 2.3m (7ft 6in) headroom when you stand in the middle of your loft and meas...
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How Do You Measure Up?

Tape Measure Image
Our Imperial system of measurement - feet and inches, pounds and ounces, was officially used in the UK from 1824 and it stayed in the British psyche right through to 1965 when the Metric system was adopted. Even now, however, many people of the older generation still think automatically in feet and inches when they calculate or try to picture sizes or distances. To be honest, we still have a mishmash of measuring systems swirling around; you'll frequently hear a conversation which includes dimensions in metres and inches - all in one breath! And we're not just talking about the mature section of the community here!
The dimensions on our website are shown as Metric but we do try to include Imperial equivalents in the additional information sectsions. However, if you are in the process of measuring for your project to see how best to fit one of our staircases in, don't worry too much about trying to do any complex calculations from Imperial to Metric. Just use this handy Converter ...
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Let’s dispel those myths for you!

Even a quick Google search will show that there is a myriad of reactions from people when they think about spiral staircases, from total drooling adoration to concerns about children tripping up - or falling down! However, if you read many of the responses on the various blog posts you'll probably end up completely confused at best and downright scared at worst! Let's help to clear up the concerns for you.  
Klan Spiral Kit from Number 1 Spiral staircases are too steep for children to use safely? In a word "no", so long as the staircase has complied with the UK Building Regulations - and this applies to all staircases, not just spirals. For a spiral staircase, the key measurement is the distance between each tread - called the tread rise, and this should be between 150mm and 220mm for a staircase in a home. In practice, most stairs have a tread rise between 190mm and 220mm, which is a comfortable tread rise for most people and children. Many of the staircases on our website are manufactured in...
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Clear as mud?

Building Regulations Overload
We are often asked to explain the differences between the types of staircases (spiral, spacesaver, linear or winder stairs) and how the UK Building Regulations are involved. Questions like "can I use a spiral as my main staircase?" or "will a spacesaver staircase be ok to go up to my loft bedrooms?" feature strongly in the list - and these questions are asked by DIYers, builders AND architects. At one time, you could rely on the knowledge from your local Building Control Officers but nowadays they need to have an overview of an unprecedented amount of technical information and regulation details, which are constantly being updated and many have lost or never been able to acquire the specific details of one small section of one of the many Building Regulations. So, we are always happy to strip it all down to the basics for you. Grab yourself a coffee and read on...
  1. Space Saver Staircases - can be used to access a single habitable room (plus an ensuite as long as it isn't the ...
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Spring has Sprung!

Eureka Indoor Outdoor Spiral Staircase in White2
I know it doesn't yet feel like it, but (whoopee do) we are now in... Spring! So it's a good time to start thinking about your garden and how you might want to use it when the warmer weather arrives. Perhaps you could add a spiral staircase to reach a balcony or maybe convert a flat roof into a beautiful roof terrace where you can drift down a stunning exterior spiral stair. Look at the outdoor staircases on for inspiration.
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